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Anxiety and Depression :: New Treatment for Depression

Vagus Nerve Stimulation is a Promising
New Treatment for Depression

Do you suffer from depression? Have you tried typical forms of therapy and counseling, but to no avail? Even medication and alternative treatment options have not helped your depression. Do not despair. A new treatment for depression is available for patients with severe and chronic depression that will not respond to treatment. The new treatment for depression is called Vagus Nerve Stimulation therapy.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation is an experimental form of treatment for depression. It is typically offered in hospitals or clinics for patients who have tried other forms of treatment with little or no success.

Also called VNS, vagus nerve stimulation helps to trigger changes in the neurotransmitters, such as epinephrine and serotonin, which directly affect your mood. The changes to the neurotransmitters with this new form of treatment for depression improve the symptoms of depression in patients who were unable to obtain positive results with other treatment methods.

A tiny device, similar to a pacemaker used in heart patients, is placed inside the upper portion of the patients chest just under the skin. This small generator is then attached to the left vagus nerve through the neck by a stimulating electrode. The generator sends impulses to the Vagus Nerve creating the changes in the neurotransmitters. The resulting changes in the neurotransmitters bring about the improved mood in the patient.

Treatment Approval

A relatively new procedure, Vagus Nerve Stimulation was approved by the FDA in July 2005 as a new treatment for depression in specific cases, bringing a glimmer of hope to the lives of many Americans.

Who Is Eligible

The VNS treatment for depression is new and in its early stages. Vagus Nerve Stimulation is a new and effective treatment for depression, but it is not appropriate for everyone. This new treatment for depression has only been approved for patients with severe depression that is unresponsive to other treatment and therapy. For example, a patient is recommended to have attempted treatment for their depression with counseling and a minimum of four trials of antidepressant medications before considering Vagus Nerve Stimulation therapy as a possible new treatment for their depression symptoms.

Cost of VNS

VNS therapy can be costly and invasive. For this reason, patients will want to seriously consider all options before deciding on this new form of treatment for depression. The VNS device costs approximately $12,000. The associated surgery to implant the VNS generator and lead will run upwards of $15,000.

Unfortunately, at this time, insurance companies are resisting the idea of paying for VNS therapy. This new treatment for depression has not proven itself to insurance companies to be more cost effective than other methods of treatment for depression such as counseling and medication.

Yet for patients who can find relief from their symptoms with this new form of treatment for depression, price does not matter. You simply can't put a price tag on a happier life.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation is a new treatment for depression that may be right for you. Always, always, always consult with your doctor and weigh all options.




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